Renew I Educate I Connect 

 PD 2012: Opportunity or Despair? Youth Ministry at the Crossroads

The Practice Discipleship Initiative launched in 2011-2012, in partnership with the ELCA Youth Gathering. The training sessions are strictly geared for general training in Lutheran theology, youth ministry theory and practices, although references may be included in regards to the ELCA Youth Gathering. Special thanks to Youth Leadership and EveryDay LLC/Peer Ministry Leadership  for their permission to include portions of their training curriculum in these training sessions. Also, thank you to the writing team of Dr. Terri Elton (Luther Seminary) Tiger McLuen (Youth Leadership) and Dr. Jeremy Myers (Augsburg College) for their collective work on these materials. 


Opportunity or Despair: Youth Ministry at the Crossroads

Dr. Terri Elton, Luther Seminary

The landscape of youth ministry has changed. Studies show that while the majority of young people believe in God, 92% hold a watered down version of faith that does not inform their daily lives. This session looks at what young people believe, and effective ways to pass on transformative faith. 

 You Lead  Plug and Play
 Curriculum  Full video
 PowerPoint  Soul Searching Clip
 Video Link (for first 5-7 min.)  
 Link to ExemplarYM Clip   

Youth Ministry Events as Faith Formation: 

Part 1 - Planning Events

Shivon Miller, Trinity Lutheran Church, Duluth, MN

We know that faith is passed on best through relationships. At the same time, we know that events – when done well – are effective tools in helping to build relationships and provide opportunities for meaningful faith conversations. This 3 part training series will give adult leaders a framework in which to plan, prepare and implement events that deepen faith. 

 You Lead  Plug and Play
 Curriculum  Full video
 PowerPoint   


Youth Ministry Events as Faith Formation: 

Part 2: Going Deeper and Preparing Your Group for an Event 

Heather Hansen, Texas Lutheran University

Topics in this training session include: Planning with a purpose, Logistics for planning events of all types; release forms/consent/paperwork, and crisis management.

 You Lead  Plug and Play
 Curriculum  Full video
 PowerPoint  

Youth Ministry Events as Faith Formation: 

Part 3: Processing Events and Connecting them to Daily Life

Heather Hansen, Texas Lutheran University

Topics in this training session include: Processing the Experience, Connecting Events and Experiences to Daily Life and Managing a Group During an Event.

 You Lead  Plug and Play
 Curriculum  Full video
 PowerPoint  
 Appendix One WHEAT cards  



Lutheran Theology: God at Work in the World
Dr. Jeremy Myers, Augsburg College

This lesson will present participants with a handful of ideas that are central to Lutheran Theology. These ideas will help the participants interpret and understand their experiences in a particular way. They will also help participants in assisting students in the interpretive process of their own experiences; helping them articulate God’s presence and activity in a way that (we think) gives faithful witness to how God works in the world.

Lutheran Theology: How Lutherans Read the Bible
Dr. Jeremy Myers, Augsburg College

No. This is not an oxymoron. Lutherans actually do read the Bible and they often read it in a particular way. This workshop will introduce you to the various ways the Bible is often interpreted and will lay out for you the tools or concepts Lutherans have used for many years while interpreting scripture.


Your Role as Leader

Dr. Terri Elton, Luther Seminary

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a "leader" in ministry? Then this training is for you. Centered on the idea of servant leadership, this session will note the necessary dance of leading - a dance between joining God's work in the world and the importance of using our gifts and skills. In addition to outlining three important aspects of servant leaders, participants will learn about three clusters of skills needed in ministry and have the opportunity to evaluate their own abilities in each area. (handout is included in the curriculum)


 You Lead  Plug and Play 
Curriculum   Webinar with Terri 
Video (referenced in curriculum)   Video clip (can be plug & play too) 


Strategic Planning

Tiger McLuen, Youth Leadership

This session will help you think more clearly about the goals of effective youth ministry. We want to help you get past just having some good intentions for your programs. This will help move you past the busyness of your schedule to some clear plans that will keep you motivated in ministry. We will give you time to talk about your dreams, visions and goals for ministry. (handout is included in the curriculum)

 You Lead  Plug and Play
 Curriculum   Webinar with Tiger 
 Video (referenced in curriculum)   Video clip (can be plug & play too) 

Leading a Small Group

Tiger McLuen, Youth Leadership

Small group leadership is a key part of most youth ministry roles but, we often feel unprepared for the task. Leading a small group is not easy, but everyone can learn to do it well. We won’t guarantee that your middle school boys will love every small group, but this session will introduce the basic ideas and skills necessary for leading a small group. (handout is included in the curriculum)

 You Lead  Plug and Play 
 Curriculum   Webinar with Tiger 
 Video (referenced in curriculum)   Video clip (can be plug & play too)

Faith Conversations

Tiger McLuen, Youth Leadership

Sharing your faith story is an essential part of your role as a leader yet this is usually a tough area for many people in the church. This session will introduce the basic ideas and skills necessary for having a natural, relational conversation about faith and life. We will admit our fears and find a way to speak about faith and life in real conversations with students. (handout is included in the curriculum)

 You Lead  Plug and Play
 Curriculum  Webinar with Tiger
 Video (referenced in curriculum)   Video clip (can be plug & play too) 

Planning for the Unexpected

Tiger McLuen, Youth Leadership

There are always surprises in youth ministry, and this session will discuss this reality. Even with great planning, events with teenagers almost always involve surprises. What is the role of a caring adult in the midst of these surprises and how do we stay focused on a loving environment and discipleship in the midst of the surprise?

 You Lead  Plug and Play
 Curriculum   Webinar with Tiger 
 Video (referenced in curriculum)   Video clip (can be plug & play too)

Video links can be downloaded for use offline using programs such as Real Player.
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